Fried Green Tomato Caprese

And now for something completely different!  I have been completely swamped.  Work has a crazy project due date fast approaching, I've been away in NYC for a weekend, and holiday parties galore, and editing pictures from the Bat Mitzvah I photographed, and I haven't had 2 seconds to spare to post something awesome on this here blog.  So I dug around in my drafts folder and found this little beauty from early November that I never posted.  The first frosts were approaching, so my parents cleared out their tomato plant and were left with a huge grocery bag of green tomatoes.  I made both of our lives easier by taking a few off of their hands, and discovered a new love- fried green tomatoes, meet caprese salad.
Well, it can't all be holiday themed things... There's only so much chocolate, cranberries, and sugar you can consume before you need dinner in there too.  I promise, this is both light and filling at the same time.  Tart vinegar-y green tomatoes get fried and added to cheese, perfection.  This was my dinner all that week, and I'm wishing I had some more now!
I looked up recipes for fried green tomatoes, and then just kind of made something up.  For one of the iterations (not pictured here), I even added leftover Peruvian green sauce into the egg mixture, to add some heat!  It was soooo amazing.
Cornmeal with a little salt and pepper, 1 egg mixed with a splash of milk, panko bread crumbs in an Italian flavor.  Super authentic fried green tomatoes?  Maybe?
Assembly line!  Then ready to be fried.  I used a cast iron skillet heated to medium with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
3 minutes per side seemed to do the trick!  Then stacked with basil and fresh mozzarella cheese.
Oh, and of course a balsamic vinegar reduction poured over top!
Fried Green Tomato Caprese
2 green tomatoes
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, italian flavored
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil
Balsamic vinegar, reduced if preferred

Heat a medium cast iron skillet (or any skillet you have!) over medium heat with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

Add the cornmeal to 1 bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix up the egg and milk.  In another bowl, add the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and cayenne, and mix up.

Slice the green tomatoes into 1/2" slices.  Dredge each one separately in the cornmeal, then the egg, then the panko breadcrumbs.  Place into the heated skillet, making sure not to overlap the tomato slices.  Flip each carefully after about 3 minutes, and let cook another 3 minutes on the other side.

Remove to paper towels to drain some excess oil, then stack with mozzarella cheese and basil.  Drizzle with a balsamic vinegar reduction if desired!

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